My target at the moment is to run the Ironbridge half marathon next month. I've only just put together a training plan, due to various things getting in the way (health, work, life - the usual!).
On Saturday, I ran in my 2nd cross country event. I was again 2nd from last but I was pleased with the result. XC is way tougher than running on pavement. My best 5k time has been about 34 minutes and I finished the XC 5.12 km in 39m42s - this included lots of sticky mud, two fences to climb over, 3 very steep hills and twice through a swamp.
I'd planned an 8 mile run on Sunday but felt guilty for abandoning beloved all afternoon on Saturday so gave it a miss, felt ill on Monday so did nothing then either.
Tuesday morning, I decided to try the 8 miles on the treadmill at the gym. Unexpected snow meant I was later than expected so didn't have time to run that far. Instead, I tried a tempo session. My XC pace was about 12.24min/mi and my 10k race time has been 11.15min/mi. I did a mile of warm up, gradually building up from walking to running at 12min/mi pace. I followed that with 2 miles at 11:30 min/mi, 1 mile at 11:00 min/mi and 1 mile at 10:30 min mi, then a cool down for .29 of a mile. In all, I ran 4 1/2 miles without stopping or taking a walk break ! I know it's easier on the treadmill but it was still a first (previous furthest non-stop was 5km) and I'm chuffed to bits :-). I covered 5.29 miles in 65 minutes, in all.
It was bad planning really as I had a pyramid session at running club later on - our lovely coach told me off as two hard sessions in a day is a bit of a no-no. I managed though. We did about a mile of intervals, followed by the pyramid session - 1min effort, 1min recovery, 2min effort, 2min recovery, 3min effort, 3min recovery - then back down the other way. It was very tough but I survived ! In all, I did over 10 miles yesterday. I do ache today but I'm looking forward to a steady run with club tomorrow (prob about 4 miles).
I'm actually looking forward to doing another tempo run on the treadmill - I think that and the XC have made me feel able to push a bit more. Our coach said I had got noticeably fitter - I'm still slower than most of the other runners in our club but the thing that matters most is that I am improving and making progress.
Running outdoors is definitely more fun but I quite relish the challenge of a tough session on the treadmill - it's easy to measure progress too.
I'm quite excited